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Calgary Flames

Rival Canucks add 3 defensemen



Not sure what Gillis is up to, but he added 3 NHL defenders to an already complete blueline. Must have been possessed by some kind of Sutter-like mentality. Mathieu Schneider, Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich are now all Vancouver Canucks. So, should Flames fans be worried?

I personally don’t think so. Not a lot there. Schneider is old enough to be a grandfather and his effectiveness is eroding rapidly. He was the most sheltered defenseman on the Thrashers last year in terms of zone start, he didn’t play against tough competition and he was still in the red in terms of corsi and outscoring. And he’s only going to get worse.

Brad Lukowich has been a marginal NHLer for years. He's got zero offensive game and he can't really take on anything but third/fourth liners. He was the most sheltered regular Shark defender in terms of match-ups last year.

As for Ehrhoff, he's a guy who has a great tools and high potential, but his computer is faulty. He's fast, agile and has a good shot, but tends to give up a lot of grade A scoring chances against. He doesn't generate as much offense as he should given his apparent talents either. What's more, he's overpaid at 3.1M (unless he takes a giant leap forward as a Canuck).

On top of all that, Vancouver is somewhere close to 2M over the cap and will be forced to move a salary or two to get compliant. Personally, I would guess the perpetually injured Sami Salo will be out the door – he’s useful when he’s in the line-up, but the 34 year old hasn’t played a full season…well, ever. He’s averaged 20 missed games per year the last 3 years in a row. Bad news, especially for a 3.75M player.

Even though he's a band-aid, I'd be happy to see Salo get shipped to the East. He ALWAYS seems to score on the Flames…especially at critical times in the game.

Overall? I'd say this is all good news for Calgary fans.

by Kent Wilson